Marshall County

SMITH, John T.

John T. SMITH, deceased, was for more than a third of a century one of the most highly respected citizens of Marshall county, and while his life was not toed for any events of any particular stirring interest, it was such as to be worthy of emulation of those coming after him. He was a thoroughly honest and truthful man, his work at all times being as good as his bond. Few men have left a better record for such traits of character as go to make up the true man. He was a native of New Jersey, born in Frenchtown May 11, 1819, and in youth removed with his parents to Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where he formed the acquaintance, and October 9, 1838, married Miss Ann BATES, who was born at Bristol, that county, July 15, 1818.

Eight years after marriage, Mr. SMITH removed with his family to Brimfield, Peoria county, Illinois, and ten years later came to Marshall county, where the remainder of his life was spent. His large farm on section 9, Whitefield township, was his home for twenty-one years, with the exception of a few years spent in Henry, where he moved for the purpose of educating his children, and there his children grew to manhood and womanhood, and from which they went out to occupy honored places in society.

Mr. SMITH was a successful farmer, giving personal attention to every detail of farm work. In 1877, he sold his place to his son-in-law, Thomas MONIER, and removed to Henry, and while practically living a retired life invested his money in loans and had quite an extensive interest of that character. In later years he again invested a portion of his means in farm lands, and devoted his time in looking after his property in connection with his loans.

In 1847, about one year after coming to Illinois, Mr. SMITH was converted and became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, with which body he was identified until called to the upper and better world. Gifted in prayer his influence was felt in revival meetings and in the regular social meetings of the church. With an earnest desire to do something for his master he labored for the good of others, and by precept and example besought them to urn to the Lord. Mrs. SMITH was also an earnest and devout follower of Christ and a life-long member of the Methodist Episcopal church. The Lord’s house was to her a home, and a foretaste of the heavenly home to which she longed to go.

The family of Mr. and Mrs. SMITH consisted of nine children. William N. is now a resident of Independence, Kansas. Elwood was a prosperous farmer in Whitefield township, who died in middle life. Charles now resides in Henry, Illinois. Angeline died at the age of eleven years. Arabella is the wife of John H. CLIFT, of Fairbury, Illinois. Lewis is a stock dealer in Henry, Illinois. Cyrus died at the age of eleven years. Charlotta S. is the wife of Thomas MONIER, of Whitefield township. Jennie is the wife of Luke GREGORY, of Whitefield township. Each of these children have been well provided for in this life.

John T. SMITH was a man of great will power, who when convinced of the right or wrong of any matter could not be swerved from his views. His death occurred December 3, 1893, and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery at Henry. His wife survived him two years, dying April 17, 1895. She had been in failing health for some time, and during her last illness was cared for by her daughter, Mrs. MONIER, who gave her loving attention, trying to sooth the weary one, and as far as possible lightening her sufferings, making her last hours peaceful and happy. The fond husband and loving wife both died in the full assurance of faith, trusting in the precious promises of the Almighty Father and his son Jesus Christ, and it can well be said of them that “They have fought the good fight, they have kept the faith and henceforth there is laid up of them the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give them in that day.”

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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